Seborrheic Dermatitis

What is Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Seborrheic dermatitis is one of the most common skin diseases in the world.  It’s characterized by dry, flaky, itchy skin and can lead to dandruff. A lot of people with seborrheic dermatitis don’t even realize they have it.

For some, it can go by fairly unnoticed.  For others,  however, it can manifest as an itchy rash that just won’t go away. Tons of people have dandruff, but don’t know that one of the most common causes of dandruff is seborrheic dermatitis.

While it’s fairly minor as far as skin conditions go, seborrheic dermatitis can still be a nuisance, and action can be taken to treat it.

What Are The Symptoms of Seborrheic Dermatitis?

The symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis can be minor, but they can be annoying.  Typically, the symptoms are flaky, itchy skin.  The skin that flakes off can be described as white or yellow, and is sometimes oily.  Dandruff is one of the most obvious results of seborrheic dermatitis.  While it usually forms on the scalp, seborrheic dermatitis can technically from anywhere, such as the groin or buttocks, under the breasts, or behind any fold of skin.

Sometimes, in infants, seborrheic dermatitis is mistaken for diaper rash.  The symptoms are similar by appearance, and your baby can’t exactly tell you what he or she is feeling, so it can be hard to discern what’s going on.  If your child presents any kind of rash, talk to your pediatrician.

Children younger than three months can sometimes get seborrheic dermatitis on their scalp (called cradle cap).  It typically goes away by the time they’re one year-old, but can sometimes reappear during puberty.

Because there are so many illnesses that present similar symptoms, it’s important to ask your doctor about your dermatitis.  For example, some of the same symptoms can be caused by psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema.  In fact, more serious illnesses sometimes present the same symptoms as seborrheic dermatitis, like certain stages of lupus and even an allergic reaction.  Be sure you’re not mistaking something else as seborrheic dermatitis and ask your doctor.

What Causes Seborrheic Dermatitis?

The exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis is still undiscovered.  It’s likely that there are actually several causes of seborrheic dermatitis.  A few of the most common triggers appear to be stress and cold weather, as well as genetic predispositions. This can cause your dandruff to worsen in the winter and/or during a stressful week at work.

Another supposed cause for seborrheic dermatitis is yeast.  There is a kind of yeast that typically lives on your skin without you even noticing.  However, in certain people, and in certain areas of the body, the skin appears to be sensitive to this yeast, causing a reaction and creating patches of dry, irritated, flaky skin.

Seborrheic dermatitis is also common on areas of skin where oil tends to build up, including on either side of your nose, your forehead, eyelids, and chest.

Regardless of the cause of seborrheic dermatitis, it’s important to get it taken care of to avoid embarrassing dandruff, itchy skin, and an altogether uncomfortable situation.

Luckily, seborrheic dermatitis is treatable.  Let’s find out how!

Seborrheic Dermatitis Treatments

Often, seborrheic dermatitis goes away on its own.  Because there is no known direct cause of a flare-up, there is no known direct cause for the cessation of a flare-up. There are, however, many ways to mitigate and even eliminate your seborrheic dermatitis. A lot of these treatments can be home remedies or OTC (over-the-counter), and don’t require a prescription!

You can reduce and/or eliminate seborrheic dermatitis by removing the triggers that cause it.

For example, reducing stress and keeping your scalp warm when going outside during winter can aid in preventing seborrheic dermatitis in the first place.

Another key method for reducing your flare-ups is moisture.  Since oil build-up on dry skin seems to be one of the main causes of seborrheic dermatitis, keeping your skin clean and moisturized works wonders for preventing or eliminating it.  Drinking lots of water can help.

Another suggestion is to cover the affected area in a household moisturizing agent (like, for example, olive oil) and allow it to soak in for about an hour.  Doing so moisturizes the skin, thereby removing the environment that allows seborrheic dermatitis to form.

Finally, if home remedies fail, it may be time to go for an over-the-counter solution.

As mentioned, one of the main suspects for seborrheic dermatitis is yeast.  Yeast is a fungus, just like athlete’s foot or mushrooms. Using antifungal creams on the affected area has been shown to help get rid of this type of seborrheic dermatitis, as it kills the yeast responsible.

Using a specialized shampoo containing coal tar or salicylic acid can help reduce the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis.  Be aware that coal tar based shampoos may discolor lighter blonde and red hair.

At Summers Laboratories, we specialize in offering high-quality, effective topical products to help with your dermatitis. Our Tarsum Relief Shampoo is formulated to treat and relieve psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, and severe dandruff on the scalp leaving it feeling calmer, less itchy and irritated. This shampoo is a coal tar solution that can be applied before bathing and is specifically formulated for conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis. When you’re ready to remove the shampoo, simply apply water, work Tarsum into a lather, and rinse as you would any shampoo. Control itching, flacking, and redness with Tarsum Relief Shampoo,  It can help you feel more confident and comfortable in your skin!